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A screen capture of the new AFC homepage
A screen capture of the new AFC homepage.

A New Look for the AFC Web Pages

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If you’ve visited the American Folklife Center’s main page on the Library of Congress website in the last few days, you may have noticed a change. The pages have been converted to the Library of Congress’s new standard format for Research Centers across the Library’s divisions. Our legacy URL of will now redirect you to the new landing page, which is:

We’re excited to share the new site with you, so here are some of its features!

On the “About” page, along the left, you’ll find links that will allow you to learn about how to use our reading room, as well as where we are and when we’re open. You can also read about our Board of Trustees, get answers to the most-asked questions about us, and find out how you can support the American Folklife Center. The main body of the page tells you a little about us, and introduces you to our featured collections and blog posts.

Two young girls play hand-clapping games in a classroom with other students around them.
“Children’s rhymes and games, Blue Ridge Elementary School, Ararat, Virginia,” is one of the featured photos on the new AFC homepage. It was taken by Patrick B. Mullen in September 1978.

Navigating to the “Collections” tab will give you access to our digital collections (currently there are 43 of them, comprising many thousands of items), and to the Web Cultures Web Archive.

The “Researcher Resources” tab gives you access to our topical collections guides, our finding aids to individual collections, our story maps (which are curated entry points into our online collections), and our e-resources and databases. Note that it’s here, under e-resources and databases, that you’ll find the digitized card catalog to our disc-era collections, known as the “Traditional Music and Spoken Word Catalog from the American Folklife Center.”

The “News and Events” tab gives you press releases and notices about events we have scheduled on the calendar–so that’s where to go to find out what’s going on. More than this, however, it gives you access to our webinar videos and our event videos–about 700 concerts, lectures, symposia, archive challenge song videos, and other fantastic folklife content.

Of course, whenever a set of pages migrates to a new format, some links change. Also, keep in mind that the site has been somewhat streamlined. We have launched the new pages with our highest-priority items in place, such as the online collections, reference tools, and searchable card catalog. We’ll be working on getting all other priority content placed on the new site, while phasing out any pages that have become outdated. So, if you’re looking for an individual page or item you had bookmarked, it may not be in the same place. If there’s a particular page or item you’re looking for, you can let us know by emailing [email protected].

In her final blog post before retiring, my colleague Stephanie Hall reminded us that the American Folklife Center helped pioneer the use of the internet within the Library of Congress, exploring gopherspace before the development of the World Wide Web, and developing web tools soon after the web became accessible. AFC is proud of this legacy as a leader in the field of internet librarianship. We are dedicated to using our web pages to further our mission of stewarding archival collections, creating and presenting public programs, and exchanging knowledge and expertise in the field of folklife.

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